Monday, February 9, 2009

Back at the White Beach - A Night in Galera


After a decade of shying away…. I found myself walking the white shores of Puerto Galera again. This time with my boo and my 3-yr old son happily taunting the calm waves. Ooohhpps did I fail to mention our tour buddies, the AIEP
group which consisted of an eclectic bunch. There are around 50 of us but I can still say that white beach is still deserted. This is one of the advantages of vacationing during off season.

One can enjoy simple pleasures like going to the souvenir shops, have a henna tattoo, relax with a P200 massage or just wander in the beach and feel the sand caress your feet.

The weather is cool in the morning and sunny most of the day. Fun and activities were provided by our group director, Chris. We had a mini amazing race ala treasure hunt. Boy, the tasks are no walk in the park since it consisted of a two-page list of things to find and do. I have been to the island so many times but this time I really got acquainted with Galera. Who would ever find “the tree with no leaves” or the restaurant “Dito Ba ‘Yun?”. These are just snippets of the treasure hunt list.

Most of the group partied the night away. Sample the Mindoro Sling a local cocktail that comes in a variety of concoctions. The common recipe consists of rum, clear cola, grenadine, orange juice, mango juice and lemon. Pop me if you want the recipe.

Day 2, we went island hopping and snorkeling in the morning. Snorkeling is in no comparison with diving but if you’re in a tight budget, why not. I always grab any opportunity to be in the water.

Beware of the small boats tugging behind. Especially to those who are non-swimmers, they offer to take you where more fishes and lush corals are abundant for a fee of course. Hey there’s nothing wrong with that … but if you stayed with your group you’ll find out soon that this is the next stop to your island hopping itinerary. (Hmmm.. our boatman is in league with them hahahha…) Actually, the real danger here is that these small fishing vessels are so eager to get customers that they tend overlook some of the other folks snorkeling around. I almost got hit in the head by one of the boats. Fortunately for me, one of my tour buddies warned me about the approaching boat. Haaayyyy.. I hope the Tourism of Mindoro can impose some policies regarding this.

Believe it or not we only spent P1700 per head for the trip. These include transportation from Manila to the beach and back, food and accommodations for the night. Not bad hah! The henna tattoo starts from P150 depending on the complexity of the design. Island hopping costs around P350 per head, snorkeling equipment included but I usually bring my own mask and snorkel. Meals are cheap and have a vast variety.

Did I mention that henna now comes in color and glitters :D

Btw, we stayed at the White Beach Resort... room rates starts from P800, visit their website for more info.